If you’ve got a few tennis balls lying around in your home put them to good use by making everyday tasks a breeze. Here’s 10 uses for tennis balls whether you need to soothe achy feet or remove scuff marks from hardwood floors.
Easily Open a Stubborn Jar
Your family can’t wait to enjoy your homemade marinara sauce, but you can’t get the jar open! What can help: Cut a tennis ball in half, then place the open end of one half over the lid. Grip tightly and give it a twist. The friction from the halved ball’s rubber will help give you a better grip to prevent slipping, so you can get to your delicious meal in a flash.
Make Hooks Sweater-Friendly
You grabbed a cardigan from the hook in your entryway and noticed a bump in the fabric. To prevent this, use a box cutter to cut an X into a tennis ball. Hold the ball with the X facing the hook and push it onto the hook. The rounded shape will keep the hook from stretching the sweater.
Clear Cobwebs From Anywhere
The only downside to the high ceilings in your porch: It’s so hard to remove cobwebs that form up there! The solution: Slip a tennis ball into a knee sock, wrap a rubber band around it to secure and gently throw the ball toward the corners of the ceiling. The silky strands will cling to the fabric and the cobwebs will come tumbling down with the ball.
Slow Down a Fast-Eating Dog
Buster gets so excited at mealtime that he gobbles down his food in seconds, which leads to smelly gas. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to get him to stop gulping: Place a clean tennis ball in his dish. Eating around the obstacle will force him to slow down, which allows his food to be properly digested, so there’s no stinky smell or mess to clean up afterward. Note: Larger dogs may need a larger toy ball to prevent a choking hazard.
Get Toned Arms For Pennies
No need to invest in dumbbells to get sculpted arms for short-sleeve weather. Instead, one of the many uses for tennis balls is to make your own one pound weights. To do: Cut a slit in two balls and fill each with 180 pennies. Then superglue shut and let dry. Lift them daily, and you’ll have trim, toned arms in no time!
Anchor Party Balloons
To keep helium balloons from flying away at your family celebration, try this: Carefully cut a small slit on top of a tennis ball, then tie the ends of the balloon strings together and slip the knot inside. The ball will weigh them down, plus add a fun pop of color.
To eliminate those unsightly black scuff marks you spotted on the hardwood floor in your dining room, enlist the help of a tennis ball. Simply use a box cutter to carefully cut an X into a tennis ball, then slip it over the end of a broom handle and use it to rub the ball back and forth over the marks. The ball’s abrasive surface will gently buff away the spots without scratching your floor.
Fluff Up Flattened Pillows
An easy way to revive pillows that have lost their fluff or gotten squished: Toss them into the dryer with two clean tennis balls and run on low for 30 minutes. As the balls bounce back and forth inside the machine, they’ll break up the stuffing, restoring volume to your pillows so they look as good as new!
Soothe Sore, Achy Feet
After a delightful afternoon walking in the park with a friend, your tootsies are tired and sore. To get relief fast, place a tennis ball under one foot and apply pressure while rolling the ball back and forth from your toes to your heel for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other foot. The gentle movement will help relax the muscles in your feet so they’re no longer achy or uncomfortable.
Keep a Bike From Falling Over
With spring weather in full bloom, you love taking your bike out for a ride to enjoy it. The only problem? When you park it on soft grass or mud, the kickstand sinks into the earth, causing your bike to fall over. To prevent this from happening, use a knife to carefully poke a small hole in a tennis ball; insert the end of the kickstand inside until it fits snugly. The ball won’t sink into the surface, and its wider base keeps your bike steady. As you can tell, the uses for tennis balls go beyond just exercising.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.